Vocus is a company that is committed to doing things differently – from our approach to team to creating choice and competition in the telecommunications market.
Underlying this is a belief in transparency, accountability, honesty, and conducting business with integrity for the benefit of our shareholders, team members, and customers.
View our Sustainability Report for an overview of our activities.
At Vocus, our charitable activities are centered on getting involved and giving back, and we are passionately committed to making a difference. We do so in a variety of ways:
Telco Together Foundation
The Vocus business supports a number of charities. One of our national partners is the Telco Together Foundation. The Telco Together Foundation (TTF) was seeded in 2011 by our former Chairman, Vaughan Bowen. TTF unites Australian IT&T companies for the purpose of fundraising for a number of key charities that support communities in need, focussing on mental health, homelessness, refugees, and Indigenous communities. All leading Australian telecommunications companies are members of the TTF.
We supply the TTF with office space and supplies and pay a yearly membership fee of $50,000. In addition, we support TTF fundraising in a number of ways, including taking them to our annual channel partner conference to host a fundraising event, and through our Workplace Giving Program. The 2016 Commander channel partner conference generated donations to the TTF in excess of $450,000.
Workplace volunteering and giving
Vocus offers to all permanent team members the right to spend two days doing paid voluntary work each year. We also run a workplace giving scheme where team members can make a regular charitable donation to the Telco Together Foundation through our payroll. We have generated more than $42,000 of donations through this scheme.
Starlight Children's Foundation
We have a partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to support and raise funds to aid in brightening the lives of sick children across Australia. We provide funding for remote paediatric clinic visits and a ‘fly in/fly out’ clinic in partnership with the Northern Territory Department of Health, providing specialist paediatric care to remote indigenous communities, with the fun, interactive, and educational presence of the Starlight Captains. We also support the Starlight Foundation’s Bush Week, a series of shows with health and lifestyle messages delivered to schools in remote communities that Starlight visits in partnership with NT Health Department pediatricians.
Vocus Scholarship with Charles Darwin University
We have funded two scholarships of $5,000 each for students enrolled in IT subjects at Charles Darwin University. The scholarship is intended to cover course fees and laptops, and we also provide a broadband connection to scholarship recipients for the duration of their course. We also offer a paid work experience placement of a minimum of two weeks to help the recipients in developing their workplace skills and networks.
Charitable contributions in Manila
We have a significant number of team members in Manila as the largest base of our customer service teams. They participate in a number of community activities, including:
- Blood donation drive in connection with St. Luke’s Medical Centre
- Rehabilitation of the Karangalan park and playground
- Christmas carols and donation collection for the Children’s Joy Foundation
- 500 participants in the Million Volunteer Run, promoting the Philippine Red Cross
- Dare to Care: helping to repair and paint parts of a a local public school
The Visibility Project
The Visibility Project is committed to increasing the visibility of positive Indigenous role models.
In its first year, The Visibility Project seeks to:
- increase the visibility of Indigenous excellence and contributions to current culture
- increase the visibility of a successful Indigenous Australian, via a culturally important avenue of music and dance
- increase the connection of non-Indigenous Australians with Indigenous language and culture
- increase the pride of Indigenous people in their own language and culture
In FY18, The Visibility Project supported a young musician, dancer and former community health advocate from Arnhem Land. Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy, writes and performs music in Yolngu Matha language and his single Marryuna is the first Indigenous language rap to be added to regular rotation on Australian radio. Marryuna was nominated for Best Song and Best Film Clip at the National Indigenous Music Awards, and Danzal was nominated for Best New Artist.
Marryuna means to dance without shame, to freestyle for the sheer elation of dancing.
View the Marryuna video clip on YouTube.
Small Change Big Change programme
In 2015, Vocus Group’s Commander Team pioneered the Telco Together Foundation’s Small Change Big Change programme.
Telco Together’s Small Change Big Change programme makes it easy for businesses to donate to charity by adding just $1 per month on to their phone bill, which is transferred in full from Commander to Telco Together. The central concept of Small Change Big Change is that just a little loose change from a lot of people together can make a huge difference to the lives of Australians in need.
100% of donations from Small Change Big Change are distributed by Telco Together to their Community Partners, who are innovative Australian charities supporting Australians in the areas of Indigenous communities, homelessness and food security, mental health, and youth unemployment and disadvantage. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
The work of the Commander Team on the pilot programme of Small Change Big Change was extended beyond 2015 to continue to raise funds. Commander takes no payment for administrating the collection of funds.
Piloting and demonstrating the success of this model now enables Telco Together to roll out the programme with other telecommunications companies.
For more information on Small Change Big Change, please click here.